Effective Communication in Project Management

How did your interpretation of the message change from one modality to the next?

 The three different types of communication modalities portrayed a completely different interpretation for me. One of the differences I noticed right away was the tone and mood of the sender.  “One of the most robust findings in the sociological literature is the positive effect of communication on cooperation and trust” (Jensen et al, ND).

The email modality was right to the point and did not convey a very friendly tone. I interpreted is as very matter of fact with very little emotion involved. It was standoffish, in my opinion, and forced me to assume there was very little morale amongst the team members. I interpreted the voicemail modality with a more friendly tone from someone who was interested in working with the team member. The face-to-face modality was my favorite form of communication as the audience was able to cue in on body language as well as tone. The speaker let the recipient know exactly what she needed to say but did so in a friendly, noninvasive manner.

What factors influenced how you perceived the message?

The factor that influenced my perception the most was the different tones that I perceived from each type of modality. The email lacked any tone as there was nothing to help me determine whether or not the sender was a positive team member or a disgruntled employee. “Written stuff, like this article, can seem to be direct. I write. My editor edits. You read. But what if I’m not clear in my writing? What if you don’t get my jokes? Or my grammar and punctuation is so poor that you miss the point? Communication fails” (Phillips, 2014). The voice and face-to-face modalities allowed me to get a feel for the tone of the message through the sound of the sender’s voice inflection and their body language in the face-to-face modality.

 Which form of communication best conveyed the true meaning and intent of the message?

 The face-to-face modality was my favorite choice and conveyed the true meaning of the message as I was able to hear and see the sender.

What are the implications of what you learned from this exercise for communicating effectively with members of a project team?

Communication and listening are key components for positive team morale and successful project management. It is important for the project manager to set the ground work for the way in which team members communicate to one another in order to avoid false assumptions or a break-down of team morale.


















  1. Krista,

    I find it interesting that your reaction to the modalities are opposite as to mine. I found that the email to me sound more of a plead for help, whereas the voice mail and Face-to-Face message seemed more business like and had an air of mutual respect. I wonder if the way people read emails and more importantly the tone they imagine them to be using has to do with factors of ourselves. If I am having a bad day will I automatically put a negative spin on any email I read or maybe if I enjoy the person who sent the email will it read in a positive tone? As Dr. Stolovitch states “Really, your spirit and attitude is more important even than the words you use.” (Laureate). As project managers we always need to keep an open mind even if an email reads as if the person is being very negative. Also we need to remember the way we act can create a perceived idea of who we are to those who do not know us very well, so as a project manager we must always act professionally with all colleagues because we never know when we may need to work with that individual in the future. Lastly, we need to make sure we use the correct form of communication to convey are message properly as we learned from this weeks assignment.

    Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

  2. Krista,

    Your quote from Joseph Phillips brought up a point that I think many in our class will fail to mention. Written communication is a very valid and formal form of communication, but if the sender does not draft a well written message it could make the receiver very uncomfortable.

    If I was the receiver of a message that had grammatical errors, my mind would start to drift elsewhere. What if Mark has personal baggage that was brought into this situation? Grammatical errors contribute to not listening because everyone has a bazillion things running through their head (Phillips, 2014).



  3. Krista,

    Reading your post made me realize I misunderstood the assignment. The directions said to record your interpretations regarding the messages of each modality. I tool that literally and recorded my audio comments. I agree with you about face-to-face communication.

  4. Krista,

    This is probably the best blog post I have read, mostly because I agree with everything you wrote. Face to face communication is the best way to get your point across and is the most beneficial for both parties involved. as Portny et al. (2008) state, “Avoid having an informal discussion with only some of the people who are involved in the topic being addressed” (pg. 357). Make every discussion meaningful and decide on something so the conversation counts. When using written communication I agree that is needs to be well thought out and planned so it has meaning on its own, but do not use it to transmit feelings that need to be interrupted. Great job here Krista!

    Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

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